A blow fish is believed to have enough poison to kill thirty adult. Early symptom can be traced in a body of the victim within 10 to 45 minutes after eating the fish. It begins with the feel of beat on the tongue and inside the mouth.
It’s weird but true. It is believed that most of seamen still enjoy eating blow fish even knowing that it is a poison fish. They claim that they know how to extract the poison. However, how deep is their knowledge about the blow fish poison; the second dangerous vertebrate animal after the poisonous golden frog (Phyllobates terribilis) from Colombians Ocean Pacific?
Besides paralyzing the nerve vein, a blow fish poison can also kill us if we are not careful. To handle a blow fish, we have to use a thick hand gloves to avoid from being bitten by the fish. A blow fish or the scientific name Tetraodontidae has four big teeth at its upper and lower gum used to destroy the victim’s shell; e.g. Crustacean, Mollusca and red worms. The skin and its internal organ like the ovary, liver, intestine, muscle tissue and blood contain neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin which can kill people. The toxin can paralyze the muscle in conscious and the die because of asphyxia.
The blow fish is still a special traditional menu both known as fugu and bok-uh in Japan and Korea even it is proven as a poisonous fish among the specialist. As a seasonal exotic menu (November to February), the customer has to be ready to spend about USD 43 to USD 286 for a plate of fugu. Fugu is a Japanese word for blow fish. The menu from blow fish flesh includes the Takifugu, Lagocephalus or Sphoeroides and Diodon species. Knowing about the poisonous of blow fish makes it one of the most famous and dangerous food. The chef has to have extreme exercise to learn how to prepare the fish without letting the dangerous toxin from being incurred to the flesh. In Japan, the government issues a special license for the chef and restaurant with the menu. However, there are several irresponsible chef and restaurant letting a bit of the toxin to the flesh in order to give a “flavor surprise” to customer without killing them.
The way of skill has to be done in conscientious in accordance to the fish part, which will be cooked separately. Most of the flesh can be eaten except for the gill, head, teeth, chin and fugu skin surface which need to be scraped off with special tool. After the fugu being cut and washed, it has to be cut into small pieces (2mm to 3mm) using a special knife called ‘hiki’ in order to prepare fugu sashimi or tessa. Tessa is prepared like a beautiful chrysanthemum shape wooden block; which is known as the death flower among the Japanese. It is served with the fugu skin sliced with sashimi or slice of uncooked fugu. Other than that, it can be cooked as soup using fugu flesh, bean curd, shitake mushroom and vegetables. The soup then to be cooked until it becomes condense by adding new recipe used to prepare zousui or porridge.
Published in: Cooking